It is November 14th 2009, Valentine’s day. I have therefore decide to add some quotes, (this section in italics), by people that encapsulate my feelings better than I can:
“Our love is like the misty rain that falls softly but floods the river” - AFRICAN PROVERB
“In love no longer thou and I exist for self has passed away in the beloved” - FARID AL-DIN ATTAR
“Pains of love be sweeter far than all other pleasures are” JOHN DRYDEN
“Love is always open arms. With open arms you allow love to come and go as it wills, freely, for it will do so anyway” LEO BUSCAGLIA - (this reminds me of images of Lady Diana Spencer greeting her children)
“Love that turns Wilderness Row into Paradise Place and Garlick Hil to Mount Pleasant” - THOMAS HOOD (this makes me laugh with a joy akin to the joy of enlightenment I experienced if that is any help - it is perhaps why money is meaningless to Buddhists).
“Were it not for love, poor life would be a ship not worth the launching” - EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON (This I only include because, as a happy materialist who had joined the navy during the second world war, my father often seemed to be singing to himself the sea shanty “A life on the ocean wave, a home on the rolling sea....” as he worked his years on this planet, but I am not sure he was ever close to understanding love. My brother too, once wrote to me, even though we dislike each other because of old rivalries in childhood, that he felt there was no love in our family.
And now back down to earth and my writings:
After I left the church I finally plucked up courage to ask a girl out that I had a thing about. In the event we went to the cinema but I could not think of anything to say. This got me concerned though not paranoid out then the first of my illusions of my father entered, strolling into the cinema across in front of the screen but in my minds eye. I lost any initiative, ( “what was he doing there a first date is important for a boy was the delusional thinking going on), and the date was a disaster I just walked her home almost in silence and no kiss. this was unexpected as sometime earlier we had attended a party at a friends house. His dad had given him the run of a den above the double garage. The girl and I had kissed then as it was Xmas. There was a Guinness advert on TV which said had the strap line “You never forget your first kiss”. It had really carried me away.
My first experience of being loved outside the family was at high school when I was asked which girl I thought was the prettiest and received three valentine cards in the 2nd year at high school. I did not know how to respond appropriately. At the time I was a chorister and Jesus says “I will put words into your mouth when you come before the magistrate” and also “Judge not that ye be not judged but when ye judge, judge fairly”. I said something about one being pretty and another being beautiful which I expect would have been in the eyes of a Puritan, Jesus helping me overcome the serpent in woman but when I left the church became me having judged unfairly, (it’s easy to accuse people who no longer follow you if you cover all bases in your philosophy). Now, with a more Buddho-Darwinist understanding, I would say from the Buddhist side “It is what and who you are inside that matters” and from the Darwinian side “but attractiveness and fertility help”. In the modern context of contraception it is probably also important to say “and your attitude to having children”. One of the girls, Nicky, later became a great pain to me as she rejected even normal social relationships, her attitude being as though changed from what i might have expected like, “Yeah I used to have a thing about you but I am over it.” to a subtle form of bullying along the lines of , “I wish you had never come to this school, I want to laugh at you”. My mother took a different but equally effective attitude when she rejected normal relationships with me. It is important to respect people and I could probably complain I felt disrespected by both women, but then as with all the things in this web-site which I have spoken of relating to rejection, it may be that the rejections led me to the path of enlightenment by increasing my ability to understand the Buddha’s expression “All life is suffering”. The caveat on that is that in the decade after the events of 1977 a degree of bullying that was no longer obtuse or subtle ensued and I have the feeling that many who desire to live the “alpha” life are still waiting for their moment. The current Dalai Lama’s way of expressing this point is
- Remember that all sentient beings have helped you over the course of past lifetimes and will help you again in future ones. Thus there is no reason to treat some better and others worse
- If a person shows anger to you and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control, your anger and show its opposite, love compassion tolerance and patience, then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others will also gradually diminish.
These are about the best way of saying what I accept is in reality an extraordinarily complex subject relating ideas of justice, belief and trust.
This ties in with comments elsewhere in this site about the warning of Christ “Woe unto he that leaves me church”, This was more woe.
I dropped out of Advanced level studies aged sixteen no longer able to cope and went looking for myself or something. In the end I have found myself and realise the impossibility of love then for my love. It is only now, decades later that having found myself to an extent, I can connect with my feelings and look back to see a woman I could have loved all my life.
Relationships since then have been brief in the main though at least a bit more constructive. It is strange to feel now feelings I though i would connect with then if only we got together.
Love, as I suspect Buddhist compassion for all living things, is something which you may never find if you make decisions which are not to your advantage, like not hearing a car coming as you walk into a road. However, some Buddhists have talked to me about the inescapability of karma, which I do not believe because it makes the universe a machine, but which I do believe in the sense of what goes around comes around. In the sense of inescapability I think our loves and hearts are there and if we ever do connect with them the world will be a better place. This may imply that all gods or devils are simply out to stop us connecting with our hearts, much as some Danes disconnected me from something of myself in 1977. those Gods and devils will may only want people to connect when they have associated the love with the authority of the God or devil. If you have not connected with love then I hope you do and while trying remember this line from another Guinness advert, “Keep an open mind and you will learn dark secrets”. One of those secrets hidden in the shadows of your own life may be the path to connecting with your heart.
There is a song by The Rasmus “In the Shadows” with the line “I’ve been watching, I’ve been waiting, in the shadows, for my time” I hope your time is now or soon and I hope you never lose your connection.